What Would Gender Parity Look Like in the C-Suite—or in Business School?

A new GMAC white paper explores business schools’ role in changing gender dynamics in the classroom and workplace.

Apr 18, 2016

B-School Outcomes

Business woman Imagine living in an ideal world, where working men and women earned equal pay for performing the same or equivalent jobs, and the makeup of corporate leadership reflected the fact that women constitute nearly 50 percent of the labor force and more than half of college-educated workers. In this scenario, one could perhaps imagine that 50 percent—or 250 of the companies listed in the S&P 500—would have female CEOS.

The hard reality is that the ranks of female CEOs in the S&P 500 number exactly 20—or four percent of the total. And in the most developed economies in the world, women earn, at best, an average of 82.5 percent of men’s salaries, regardless of profession, work experience, or educational attainment. 

These gender gaps in pay and business leadership and their impact on women’s business careers are the focus of a new white paper authored by two GMAC researchers, Paula Bruggeman and Hillary Chan. The report, “Minding the Gap: Tapping the Potential of Women to Transform Business,” offers a snapshot of recent GMAC and outside industry data that tracks women’s real progress in the pipeline for graduate management education (GME) and the personal and professional outcomes they’ve achieved since earning their MBA degrees. 

The paper argues that women are becoming some of the most skilled workers in the job market, and that businesses would be remiss not to develop this high-potential talent pool as their next generation of business leaders. This is where the role of graduate schools of business becomes increasingly important as they are a primary talent pipeline for future business leaders. The more that business schools can do to expand the gender diversity of the GME pipeline, especially in MBA programs, and position women with the networks, tools and support they need to reach upper levels of business, the more women can do to diversify their organizations and drive the changes needed for global companies to thrive in the 21st century economy.

Download the complete report today from the GMAC Research Library. And check out the latest media coverage of this new report in Fortune and Poets & Quants.
For questions or comments regarding the analysis of data presented in this report, please contact the GMAC Research Services Department at research@gmac.com

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Graduate Management Admission Council.